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'Resistance Reexamined: Gender, Fan Practices, and Science Fiction Television'
Unformatted Document Text:  12 set up this formula once again. Aeryn pursues a relationship with the one John, only to see him die heroically. She then withdraws into her stoic Peacekeeper shell, forsaking the surviving John, thereby entitling him to seek comfort elsewhere. Twentyish Chiana (Gigi Edgley) idolizes and is regularly placed in sexual poses with Crichton. Two season four newcomers are also poised to offer him “comfort” (see Rudolph, 2002, p. 26). While not as temporary as Kirk’s women, Crichton’s could prove just as interchangeable. Thus, the text allows Crichton to act on the “lone male hero’s” freedom while denying his female counterpart the same privilege. Farscape goes further than shows such as The X-Files in slowly (but surely?) crafting a romance of “equals” between its leads, but the roadblocks placed in their way interject a hegemonic meaning. So, do female fans think Aeryn’s challenge of John speaks to their equal status, or do they seize the space the text offers to see John as focal, “available” to a number of women and, theoretically, to them? The audience inquiry involved reviewing the archived postings on a fan bulletin board for Farscape (http://pub7.ezboard.com/bfarscapediscussion). Postings date back many months, preserving fans’ reactions to various developments over time. The mostly younger female fans of Chiana, in both postings and fanfic, generate preferred, hegemonic readings which key on the potential presented in the text that John might switch his allegiance to a younger woman. The “twinning” of John gave these fans new hope. Asks one: “Wondering if you might have some thoughts about....her [Chiana’s] sexual connection to John-2 [the John on Moya]?” Another speculates: “While...Talyn-John becomes closer to Aeryn, Moya-John knows this and begins to feel torn between his love for Aeryn and his long suppressed desire for Chi[ana].” The wishes of these Chiana fans reflect a Mary Sue-like impulse to identify with a younger female more willing than the lead to give herself to an idealized (and idolized) male without ego or hesitation. The impulse is also displayed by a fan who frankly states her distaste for the John/Aeryn coupling and that she wants the hero for herself. She goes on to attribute John’s love of Aeryn to low self esteem associated with a “god complex,” since he thinks he

Authors: Scodari, Christine.
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12
set up this formula once again. Aeryn pursues a relationship with the one John, only to see
him die heroically. She then withdraws into her stoic Peacekeeper shell, forsaking the
surviving John, thereby entitling him to seek comfort elsewhere. Twentyish Chiana (Gigi
Edgley) idolizes and is regularly placed in sexual poses with Crichton. Two season four
newcomers are also poised to offer him “comfort” (see Rudolph, 2002, p. 26). While not as
temporary as Kirk’s women, Crichton’s could prove just as interchangeable.
Thus, the text allows Crichton to act on the “lone male hero’s” freedom while
denying his female counterpart the same privilege. Farscape goes further than shows such
as The X-Files in slowly (but surely?) crafting a romance of “equals” between its leads, but
the roadblocks placed in their way interject a hegemonic meaning. So, do female fans think
Aeryn’s challenge of John speaks to their equal status, or do they seize the space the text
offers to see John as focal, “available” to a number of women and, theoretically, to them?
The audience inquiry involved reviewing the archived postings on a fan bulletin
board for Farscape (http://pub7.ezboard.com/bfarscapediscussion). Postings date back
many months, preserving fans’ reactions to various developments over time. The mostly
younger female fans of Chiana, in both postings and fanfic, generate preferred, hegemonic
readings which key on the potential presented in the text that John might switch his
allegiance to a younger woman. The “twinning” of John gave these fans new hope. Asks
one: “Wondering if you might have some thoughts about....her [Chiana’s] sexual
connection to John-2 [the John on Moya]?” Another speculates: “While...Talyn-John
becomes closer to Aeryn, Moya-John knows this and begins to feel torn between his love for
Aeryn and his long suppressed desire for Chi[ana].” The wishes of these Chiana fans
reflect a Mary Sue-like impulse to identify with a younger female more willing than the
lead to give herself to an idealized (and idolized) male without ego or hesitation.
The impulse is also displayed by a fan who frankly states her distaste for the
John/Aeryn coupling and that she wants the hero for herself. She goes on to attribute
John’s love of Aeryn to low self esteem associated with a “god complex,” since he thinks he


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